Finding good staff, the environment and red tape are the three issues keeping hospitality managers awake at night, exclusive Caterer research has revealed.
An online survey of 380 managers from across industry, carried out this month, showed that 97% were concerned about recruiting staff, 95% were worried about environmental issues and sustainability while 92% had issues with government regulations.
In contrast, a separate survey of 12 leading chief executives carried out for this edition by the British Hospitality Association revealed that terrorism was the major concern, although the environment and red tape were also high on their agendas.
Although finding good staff was their biggest concern, respondents to the Caterer survey gave a lukewarm response to the National Skills Strategy Agreement, which is being finalised by Sector Skills Council People 1st. Four in 10 said the strategy would have no impact on the industry's skills shortage, with a further 8% suggesting it would actually make the situation worse.
A number of respondents said the industry could learn a lot from Europe and the USA. One said: "We need to create a real culture of service and develop the industry as a real career alternative to people of all ages by establishing a series of professionally recognised diplomas and qualifications beyond simply craft based ‘tickbox' exercises."
This was an issue picked up by the chief executives, one of whom said: "We need a real focus on establishing culinary standards, similar to the Culinary Institute of America, which is a real example of university-style training at the high end of the culinary spectrum."
There was less consensus on the idea of England getting its own legislature, like the Scottish Executive. While 39% of the managers questioned said this would be a positive move, 35% said it would have no effect. And while one chief executive said: "If Scotland and Wales go it alone, England should too: remove VisitBritain," another said: "It must not happen - the rest of the world sees one nation."
By Daniel Thomas
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